China tariffs on Boeing unlikely


March 14, 2018 © Leeham News: Boeing is unlikely to face retaliatory tariffs from China following President Trump’s imposition of tariffs on China’s steel industry.

LNC believes China’s own self-interest for its airline, leasing and aerospace industry would make imposing tariffs on Boeing counter-productive.

Several media reports this week raise the prospect of China retaliating against Boeing, including these at CNBC and The New York Times. Boeing stock is off $10 or 3% in mid-day trading.

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Pratt & Whitney’s Indian trouble

By Bjorn Fehrm

March 14, 2018, ©. Leeham Co: India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) grounded Airbus A320neos equipped with Pratt & Whitney GTF engines with faulty compressor seals Monday.

Affected are eight A320neos of Indigo airlines and three A320neos of GoAir. The Indian groundings are unusual as they go beyond the directives of EASA and FAA for the problem.

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Airbus, Boeing respond differently to engine problems

March 14, 2018, © Leeham Co.: Airbus and Boeing have engine issues on in-service airplanes, but customers point to very different responses to getting their grounded airplanes back in the air.

Airbus’ problems with A320neos powered by Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbo Fan engines have been making headlines almost since introduction in late 2016.

Less well publicized, but nevertheless by now well-known within the industry, has been Boeing’s 787 powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.

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Embraer thinks a business case can be made for turboprop, but nothing soon

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March 12, 2018 © Leeham Co.: Embraer isn’t planning any new airplane any time soon, but studies about a turboprop and an electric airplane are underway.

One concept of the Embraer turboprop under study.

The current focus is on introducing the Ejet-E2 into service, however. The E190-E2 goes into service next month. The E195-E2 follows next year and the E175-E2 in 2021.

Studies about the electric plane, with 50 passengers or less, perhaps are more esoteric than pending reality. Airbus and Boeing also are studying this concept.

The prospect of a turboprop may be more rooted in reality, however.

  • Current turboprop designs are aging.
  • Bombardier’s exit from the turboprop market is considered likely.
  • Tough business case seen working with Bombardier exit.
  • The ATR is too small for some airlines.

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Pontifications: Small suppliers prepare for production transformation

By Scott Hamilton

March 12, 2018 © Leeham Co.: When it comes to preparing for increasing automation, robotics and transforming the way airliners will be built in the future, focus rests primarily on the big OEMs and suppliers.

The small suppliers also must prepare for this transformation.

Tool Gauge of Tacoma (WA) is one such company. I sat down with Jim Lee, manager of sales and marketing, at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance conference last month in Lynnwood (WA) to talk about transformation.

The Southeast Aerospace & Defence Conference looks at the Transformation in production and building for the future. It’s June 25-27 in Mobile (AL).

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Bjorn’s Corner: Aircraft drag reduction, Part 20

By Bjorn Fehrm

March 9, 2018, ©. Leeham Co: In the last Corner, we started to go through a typical mission for an airliner and study which drag types are important when and why.

We went through the take-off and climb phases, now we continue with the cruise phase.

Figure 1. An aircraft’s drag profile as airspeed varies. Source: Leeham Co.

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A321neo plus a stretch too far for NMA: Avitas

Published 05 Mar 2018 by Airfinance Journal

Special to Leeham News.

March 8, 2018, (c) Airfinance Journal: A leading appraisal firm questions whether Airbus should respond to Boeing’s proposed new midsize aircraft (NMA) simply by enhancing its existing product line.

John Vitale. Source: Airfinance Journal

“There is a gap, a natural gap that needs to be filled, so I am not sure whether the A330 coming down…and the A321 coming up, fills the gap,” said John Vitale, president and chief executive officer of Avitas, speaking on a panel of appraisers at Airfinance Journal’s Korean Airfinance event, adding: “Airbus claims the A321 has all this range and that they can put in as many seats as they are talking about. Well, no you can’t in an equal comfort level.”

However, Vitale acknowledges a possible further stretch by Airbus of its A321neo, the A322, or enhanced versions, such as the ‘A321neo-plus’, or even an ‘A321neo-plus-plus’“pushes out the timing of the NMA aircraft.”

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Airbus rolls out A350-900ULR

By Bjorn Fehrm

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March 5, 2018, © Leeham News: Airbus rolled out the first A350-900ULR the other day. The aircraft will be delivered to Singapore Airlines later this year. Singapore Airlines will use the aircraft to reopen the famous 20-hour flight, Singapore-New York. It will also fly to Los Angeles.

Airbus says the aircraft has a range of 9,700nm, but without saying under what conditions.  How many passengers can the aircraft take and in what type of seats are these sitting?

Figure 1. Airbus first A350-900ULR with modified wings, wing tanks and winglets. Source: Airbus.

We use our airliner performance model to bring clarity.

  • The A350-900ULR is touted as a 9,700nm range airliner. This is with restrictions on the number of seats and passengers, far from the nominal 325 seats capacity.
  • We use a method we learned from Qantas to evaluate the capacity of A350-900ULR.
  • With a Singapore decision to only offer Business and Premium economy seats for the ULR flights, the A350-900 will be space-limited for all flights except the Singapore-New York route.

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Norwegian’s creative accounting

By Bjorn Fehrm

March 07, 2018, ©. Leeham Co: In our February 14th article about Norwegian Air Shuttle’s operational losses, we used straightforward calculations to show the airline was losing around 2bn NOK or $300m in the fourth quarter, besides losses in 1H2107. When the airline presented the 2017 results the next day, creative accounting netted the year’s losses to 299m NOK or $32m.

This might change. The Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway (Finanstilsynet) is investigating Norwegian’s accounting methods for 2017.

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Hawaiian orders 787, cancels A330-800; Embraer ponder electric plane, not a jet

March 6, 23018 © Leeham Co.: It’s official: Boeing and Hawaiian Airlines announced an order for 10+10 787-9s. It’s a letter of intent and purchase rights.

The airline also confirmed it canceled an order for six Airbus A330-800s.


LNC was the first to report the transactions Feb. 20.

Separately, Embraer confirmed it’s looking at an airplane smaller than the E175, but denied a report originating in another media that it’s a small jet.

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